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Monthly Status Report

Become a Guardianship Volunteer Advocate

Casey internThe Adult Guardianship Services Program provides legal guardianship for clients 60 years of age or older who are unable to make medical and financial decisions on their own behalf and have no one able or suitable to serve in this capacity. Guardianship is a legal process where someone is appointed by a court to make decisions for an incapacitated person. A physician’s statement is required as evidence at a court hearing, which describes the nature and scope of the incapacity and need for a guardian. The program utilizes volunteers who serve as Guardian Volunteer Advocates (GVA) for individual clients. The GVA visits, monitors care, and advocates for their client.

The Guardianship Program has served as the court appointed legal guardian for over 295 individuals in St. Joseph, Kosciusko, Marshall and Elkhart Counties since the establishment of the program in 1994. The majority of the clients served reside in long-term care facilities; however the guardianship program makes every effort to allow clients to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. This program also refers endangered adults to other service providers when guardianship services are not appropriate.

Please feel free to contact us at (574) 284 – 2649 or 1 (800) 552 – 2916, ext. 2649 (Indiana only) or email us at

Any interested adult can make a referral to the Guardianship Program. A complete referral must include both a referral form and a physician’s report. Links to these forms are included below. Please note that the physician’s statement must include a dementia diagnosis or other diagnosis which results in the individual being mentally incapacitated. These documents may be faxed to (574) 284-2691 or may be mailed to the address below.

Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph County Guardianship Referral Form

Marshall County, Elkhart County, Kosciusko CountySt. Joseph County Physician’s Report Forms

Please Mail to:
REAL Services, Inc.
Attn: Guardianship Program
P.O. Box 1835
South Bend, IN 46634

 If you are interested in becoming a Guardianship Volunteer Advocate check out the Volunteer page and complete an application.

REAL Services' Press Release Regarding COVID-19Read More Here